DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2021, PUNE, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 URGES OPP TO UNITE, PLAN FOR 2024 Govt trying to turn country into a surveillance state: Mamata No Tharoor: ` 120 per kilo ` 148 per kilo Shows phone with plaster: ‘This govt too needs to be plastered, can’t even speak to Chidambaram, Pawar’ ` 184 per kilo ` 70 per Dozen Shell firm director who sold flat to Mehta linked to group in ED probe KHUSHBOONARAYAN MUMBAI,JULY21 MAHARASHTRA REAL Estate Regulatory Authority (Maha RERA) Chairman Ajoy Mehta's Nariman Point apartment — whichhascomeundertheIncome Tax (I-T) scanner for alleged benami transactions — was sold to him by Nikhil Ketan Gokhale, director of Anamitra Properties Pvt Ltd,officialrecordsshow. Gokhale is on the board of at least seven entities promoted by Pune-basedbusinessmanAvinash Bhosaleof ABILGroup,whoisbeing probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA)inacasepertainingto the purchase and construction of acommercialbuildinginPuneon aplotmeantforhousesforbureaucrats.AccordingtotheRegistrarof Companies (RoC) records of December2020,Gokhalewasappointed as a director of Anamitra PropertiesinOctober2008.Hehas given (an) ABIL Group email addressincompanyrecords. Whencontacted,Gokhaledenied any association with Anamitra Properties. “I have CONTINUEDONPAGE2 HOWHIGHCAN ECONOMYBOUNCE? BY NEELKANTH MISHRA PAGE 8 ATRI MITRA A volunteer for the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Wednesday. The Games open Friday. Reuters Tests, re-tests, more tests: An Olympics like no other EXPRESSAT OLYMPICS MIHIR VASAVDA TOKYO, JULY 21 HISTORICALLY, THE rings represent the plurality of the Olympicsmovement.Butforthe thousands who have descended upon this futuristic city, the five Olympicringshaveendedupbeing a metaphor for all the hurdlesthey’vehadtohopandjump through simply to reach Tokyo. This was all too evident at a football-field-sized waiting hall inside the Haneda Airport on Wednesday. People from hundreds of nationalities — athletes and coaches, umpires and broadcasters—wereherdedinto this vast space, where they waitednervouslyfortheirCovid19 reports. The anxiety levels were high since it had emerged that two athletes — a Dutch surfboarder and a Chilean taekwondo player —hadtestedpositiveatthecity’s other airport in Narita. Heartbreakingly, their Olympics was over even before it began. For those inside the waiting hall at Haneda, this was a makeor-breakmoment–apositiveresult, and they would perhaps be watching the Games from the Japanese government’s quarantine facility; a negative test would bring momentary relief before the cheery volunteers lead them to the next challenge. And there have been many. The pandemic means the Olympics will be unlike any other. On Wednesday, two days before the opening ceremony, Tokyo reported 1,832 new Covid-19 cases. As athletes from across the world start to gather and the polite volunteers welcome everyone with a huge grin, the grim situation on the ground is inescapable. The streets are busy, but not in a typical Olympic manner — apart from the flags signaling priority lanes on Games vehicles, there’s hardly After three-month thaw, an uptick in militancy in Kashmir; June, July see 16 encounters NEW DELHI, SRINAGAR, JULY 21 AFTER A semblance of tranquility along India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir, militancy-related violence has witnessed a spike in the Valley over the last six weeks, along with an increase in the participation of foreign terrorists in attacks on security forces. In 2021, 86 militants were killedacrossJ&K.InJuneandJuly alone,36militantsor45percent werekilledin16encounters.July hasbeenparticularlyactive,witnessing 10 encounters in 20 days, in which 20 militants were killed, of which four are suspected to be from Pakistan. In all this year, the security forces were engaged in 36 operations, and of the 86 killed, 80 were killed in Kashmirandsix in PAGE 1 ANCHOR E E X P L A I NE D DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & NAVEED IQBAL BUSINESS AS USUAL KOLKATA, JULY 21 Spikenot ● expected THE CHANGING dynamics of militancy in Kashmir coincides with shifting sands in the region's geopolitics, particularly Pakistan's own importance and developments in Afghanistan. It is assumed that uncertainties in Afghanistan early this year and pressure from FATF had forced Pakistan to come to the negotiating table. Those pressures have eased now. Jammu. Also half the militants killed were from LeT. In these operations, 15 security personnel and 19 civilians lost their lives this year in militancy-related incidents. Notably, the data obtained fromgovernmentsourcesshows foreignterrorists(fromPakistan) were not involved in any encounter with security forces until April. Between April and June, fourforeignterroristswerekilled in encounters with terrorists. In July,anotherfourFTswerekilled, taking their count to eight. India and Pakistan had decided to honour the ceasefire after the DGMOs of the two countries met and issued a joint statement on February 25. This was seen as a significant thaw in the relations between the two countries and was expected to translate into a drop in infiltration and terrorist activities in Kashmir. The peace within the Valley could, however, sustain for just a couple of months.Sources said four infiltration attempts were CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 any sign or suggestion that the biggest sporting event in the world will get underway in less than 48 hours. At least 67 cases related to Olympicdelegateshavebeendetected since July 1, which has put theorganisersunderfurtherpressureaftertheyhintedonTuesday thatalast-minutecancellationof the Games was still a possibility. But despite all the uncertainty, Tokyo 2020 remains a reality, even if it means further tightening the already-strict restrictions.The“bubble”mightbe the most used term in sports since the pandemic hit last year, but nowhere has it been enforced to the extent that it will be over the next fortnight here. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SPORTS JUDOKA SUSHILA'S JOURNEY FROM OBSCURE MANIPUR VILLAGE TO TOKYO PAGE 15 WORLD URGING ALL Opposition parties to form a united front and start planning to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday accused the government of making attempts to turn the country into a “surveillance state”. Addressing the Martyrs' Day rally via virtual mode from Kolkata — Opposition leaders such as Sharad Pawar, P Chidambaram, Digvijaya Singh, Ram Gopal Yadav, Manoj Jha, Tiruchi Siva, Supriya Sule, Sanjay Singh, K Keshava Rao, Jaya Bachchan were among those present at the Constitution Club in New Delhi ahead of her address — Banerjee appealed to the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of alleged surveillance using the Pegasus spyware. BY UNNY MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, JULY 21 Mamata with her phone, the camera taped over Holding up her phone, she showed its camera covered with tape.“Ihaveplasteredmyphone becausetheytapeeverything,be it video or audio... This government should also be plastered over, otherwise this country will be destroyed... Do you know I NEW DELHI, JULY 21 BARELY A fortnight before the global expose on the alleged misuse of its flagship spyware, Israel’s NSO Group, in a policy document, acknowledged that “the customers for Pegasus are states and state agencies” who may be “tempted to limit fundamental freedoms”. Prepared on June 30, the policy document said NSO Group has 60 customers — states and state agencies — in 40 countries. Of these, 51% are intelligence agencies, 38% law enforcement ‘CUSTOMERSARESTATES,STATEAGENCIES’ 60 Customers in 40 Countries 51% Intelligence Agencies 11% Military entities and 11% military. Titled ‘Transparency and Responsibility Report 2021’, the policy document identified the potential misuse of NSO Group’s spyware against politicians, NGOs, journalists, lawyers etc among the “most salient human PUNE, JULY 21 PAGE 13 GOVT & POLITICS AMID EXIT TALK, YEDIYURAPPA SAYS HE IS A LOYAL BJP WORKER IN SHOW OF STRENGTH, SIDHU TAKES MLAs TO GOLDEN TEMPLE PAGE 11 38% Law Enforcement Entities rights risks” associated with it. Thesehumanrightsrisks,the NSOGroupreportnoted, also include potential misuse “for reasons unrelated to national security or law enforcement, such as in support of litigation or to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Shut for four days, 185 PMC vaccine centres set to reopen today after they receive fresh Covishield stock EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE U.S. LIFE EXPECTANCY IN 2020 SAW BIGGEST DROP SINCE WWII CHINA NAMES SPECIAL ENVOY TO AFGHANISTAN cannot talk to Chidambaramji because my phone will be tapped? I cannot talk to Sharad Pawarji. I cannot talk to even the DelhiChief Minister.Icannottalk toShivSenaChief Minister.Icannot talk to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister. I cannot talk to the Odisha Chief Minister. Why? ... Instead of giving money to the poor, you are spending a lot of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 3 weeks ago, NSO admitted misuse risk, said secrecy barred it from gatekeeping JAY MAZOOMDAAR SEVERAL VACCINE centres of Pune Municipal Corporation, which have been shut for four days after they ran out of Covishield doses, will resume free vaccinations on Thursday after the civic body received 21,000 doses on Wednesday evening. The stock is expected to last for a day or two at its 185 centres that administer Covishield. SinceSunday,onlysixvaccine centresof thetotal191runbythe PMC have been operational, as thesecentresadministerCovaxin doses. However, vaccination has beengoingonsmoothlyatprivate hospitals in the city, which have sufficientstockof Covishieldand where beneficiaries have to pay for the dose. “The PMC has over 190 vaccination centres across the city. need for JPC into Pegasus, IT panel will do its duty Why no O2 deaths on record? Delhi blames Centre Since Sunday, only six PMC vaccine centres have been operational. File MALLICA JOSHI & SUKRITA BARUAH The civic body had been administeringmoredosesof Covishield vaccines than Covaxin, as per availability. The civic body had not received fresh stock of Covishield doses since July 17. Vaccination centres of PMC administering Covishield doses had been closed for four days,” said a civic officer. Despite non-availability of Covishield doses for PMC, a total of 11,742 residents in PMC limits were inoculated on Monday — THAT A severe shortage of oxygen exacerbated the Covid crisis in the second wave and contributed to mortality is beyond doubt. But lack of a definition of an "oxygen-shortage death," no classification of Covid casualties as such as per established protocol and hospitals wary of linking death with oxygen supply — giventhemanyvariablesinmortality — are behind the fact that zerodeathswereofficiallyattributed to the lack of oxygen. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, JULY 21 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RULING OUT a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into alleged surveillance using the Pegasus spyware, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, said Wednesday that the committee will “do its duty” and that the subject is “already on the mandate of mycommittee”. The House committee has Tharoor called repreheads the sentatives of panel the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Telecommunications on July 28 to discuss citizens' data security and privacy. Speaking to The Indian Express, Tharoor said there was no need to set up a JPC to look into the disclosures since the standing committee and the JPC have identical rules. He said the government has been saying that they have done no unauthorised surveillance. He said while one must take the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NSCN-IM MEMBERS, MONSANTO STAFF, ON TARGET LIST P11 Covid patient critical, his sperm collected after HC grants wife’s plea EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE AHMEDABAD, VADODARA, JULY 21 A PRIVATE hospital in Vadodara on Wednesday collected and preserved the sperm of a man suffering from multi-organ failure following post-Covid complications,adayaftertheGujarat High Court granted “ad interim relief” to his wife on her petition that she wanted to bear his child through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). The 32-year-old man, who washospitalisedforCovid-19 on May10,isonECMO(extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) support. The couple have been married for over eight months. Thewomanfiledthepetition on Monday, after doctors at Sterling Hospital in Vadodara, where he is undergoing CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In daring heist, burglars trigger blast to break open ATM, flee with Rs 30 lakh SUSHANTKULKARNI PUNE,JULY21 INAdaringheistintheearlyhours of Wednesday at an ATM kiosk nearChakaninPunedistrict,burglars broke open the machine's cashdispenserbytriggeringablast usinganIED-likecontraption,and fledwithnearlyRs30lakhincash. The impact of the blast was so strongthatitcouldbeheardfrom asignificantdistance. The incident was reported at anATMkiosklocatedatBhamboli near Chakan town, 25 km from Pune city, around 2.30 am on Wednesday.OfficialsfromPimpri- Chinchwadpolicecommissionerate said that a probe involving multipleteamshasbeenlaunched aftertheheistcametolight. This is the second such incident in Pune district since July 18, when burglars have triggered a blast to break open the cash dispenser in an ATM kiosk. A similar burglaryattemptwasreportedon thenightof July18inRanjangaon industrial area, under Pune Rural Police'sjurisdiction. Deputy Commissioner of Police with Pimpri-Chinchwad Police,ManchakIppar,said,"Based on the available leads, including those from security cameras, it seems that there were two sus- pectswhocametotheATMkiosk. They laiddowna contraptionlike anIEDandtriggeredablastonthe cashdispenser.Themachinebroke open and much of the cash was scattered around the kiosk. They collected the cash from the machine, which was scattered in a tray, and fled. They seem to have leftbehindsomecash,possiblybecauseitwasdark." "According to bank officials, therewascashofaround40lakhin the dispenser and based on what isleftbehind,itseemsthattheburglars have managed to flee with cash of Rs 28 to 30 lakh. Multiple teamsareprobingthecaseandare working on various clues. There ThedamagedATMkioskatBhambolinearChakan,where theburglarytookplace. Rajesh Stephen wasasimilarattemptintherecent past at Ranjangaon. We are probing into possible links with that casetoo,"saidIppar. Inspector Arvind Pawar of Mahalunge police station, which hasjurisdictionoverthearea,said, "We now know that the two suspectshadcomeonatwo-wheeler. Theyhaveusedabattery-triggered detonator and an explosive mixture used to carry out mining blasts.Sampleshavebeensentfor forensics analysis to ascertain the exact composition of material used for the blast. The modus operandiisverysimilartotheburglary attempt in Ranjangaon industrialarea.Wearecoordinating withPuneRuralPolice...". Police officials said the ATM is of a non-bank entity and is locatedneararesidentialarea.“We have contacted officials of the companythatrunstheATM.The security arrangement, camera coverage of the premises and alarm system is part of the probe,” said a police officer from Mahalunge police station. When asked about the attempted heist, Inspector SureshkumarRautofRanjangaon police station said, "On the night of July 18, an ATM was broken by suspects in the same manner by triggering a blast. While the blast did cause damage, the burglars couldnottakeanycashasapolice team reached the area after responding to the call. We have shared the information with Pimpri-ChinchwadPoliceandwill conduct a coordinated probe in thesecaseswiththem." Officials said multiple cases of ATM burglaries, including some failed attempts, have been reported in the past on this particular stretch of Pune-Nashik Road near Chakan. Arrests have been madeinmanyof thesecases. Officialsfrompolicestationson this stretch have also conducted meetingswithbankofficialsinthe pastontheissueofstrongersecurityarrangementsatATMkiosks. Pune
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